Apple's Tim Cook hopes China will ease VPN restrictions

An app to get around firewalls

Essentially, as a requirement for someone to operate a VPN they have to have a license from the government there.

The central government in China back in 2015 started tightening the regulations associated with VPN apps.

Similarly the president of Golden Frog, Sunday Yokubaitis, gave his thoughts on their VPN apps removal from the store saying, "We gladly filed an amicus brief in support of Apple in their backdoor encryption battle with the F.B.I.", he said, "so we are extremely disappointed that Apple has bowed to pressure from China to remove VPN apps without citing any Chinese law or regulation that makes VPN illegal". In a blog post, the company said that "all major VPN apps" including its own, had been removed without notice from the store. Apple's decision to remove availability of VPN apps was criticized as supportive of the Chinese government's censorship drive.

The Russian government's decision, like China's, isn't very shocking to Hagemann.

"We believe in engaging with governments even when we disagree", he said.

"When Apple removes an app from the app store of a given country, it affects all users who have registered with an address in that country, regardless of their physical location", he added.

While Apple's revenues grew double-digits compared to a year ago in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, it saw a 10 percent decline in Greater China, which includes China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

An employee said Sinnet sent emails Friday and again Monday warning clients that they must eliminate any content that violates Chinese laws. They are vital to hundreds of businesses, media organizations, research institutions and other groups that rely on the ability to connect with the wider internet.

"In this particular case, we are hopeful that over time the [restrictions] we're seeing are loosened, because innovation requires freedom to collaborate and communicate".

State-run China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom were told to ensure that their 1.3 billion subscribers can't use VPNs to access blocked content, while popular VPN provider GreenVPN was shut down in early July.

Complaints of disruptions affecting users of overseas VPNs in China have multiplied recently.

VPNs are popular with USA employees visiting foreign nations and who want to secure company data, reduce the risk of cybercrime and keep proprietary information private. Its stance is that rules governing cyberspace should mimic real-world border controls and that the internet should be subject to the same laws as sovereign states. We have to abide by them in both cases.

Due to the extensive censorship demands made on foreign internet companies, Google formally withdrew from China in 2010 - although since then, the company has had multiple discussions with the country's leadership about returning.

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